A Vision for a Perfect Circle

An invitation for the aluminum industry to collaborate on real circularity

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Real Circularity Can Create Real Change

The impact of the packaging pollution crisis is growing every day. At Ball, we are committed to doing what we can to move toward a truly circular economy, where materials can be – and actually are – used again and again.

We are increasingly aware that this vision is shared by many - our customers, partners, policymakers and other stakeholders - who are looking to address climate change and seeking solutions to the global packaging pollution crisis. We sincerely hope it can help inspire a global shift to more circular and comprehensive measurement of environmental impact – a responsibility that we all share. 

Despite the scale of the packaging pollution crisis, it’s clear that change is coming. Driven by consumer demand, companies are increasingly making sustainability a core value and a conspicuous part of their business. That’s why we’re sharing our aspirations of Real Circularity - to identify other companies and partners who also embrace it and will help us advance these ambitious goals. 

Our environment and the future of our planet depend on it.

John A. Hayes, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

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Industry Collaboration on Real Circularity

Only by working together can the aluminum industry achieve real circularity.

In a perfect system, aluminum is the model for circularity. It is infinitely recyclable, doesn’t lose its value when recycled and is easily processed and sorted. However, we do not have a perfect global system and we can do better. As an industry, we must work together to:

  • Improve recycling rates
  • Increase recycled content
  • Design for circularity
  • Support policies and infrastructure that maximize recycling yields

Increasing the circularity of aluminum requires collaboration across the industry. This is bigger than any one company, region or technology. We are eager to collaborate across the industry on a global strategy to improve the real circularity of aluminum.


  • 90% Global Recycling Rate of Aluminum Beverage Cans
  • 85% Global Recycled Content
  • +95% Recycling Yields

“We are pleased to see the ambition for the aluminum packaging sector outlined in Ball’s “Toward a Perfect Circle Vision.” At Anheuser-Busch InBev we also believe in setting ambitious targets and that by working with our peers, local governments, suppliers and non-governmental organizations we can achieve our circular packaging and climate targets. We look forward to participating in the development of the recycling roadmap and carbon pathway plan for aluminum packages."

~ Ezgi Barcenas, Global Vice President, Sustainability, Anheuser-Busch InBev

"As the world's largest recycler of aluminum, Novelis is proud to partner with Ball to advance a shared vision for sustainable aluminum beverage packaging and support their efforts to foster more long-term industry collaboration. Having recently announced our own ambitious sustainability targets to become a net carbon-neutral company by 2050 or sooner and reduce our carbon footprint 30 percent by 2026, we are committed to working together with Ball and other members of the value chain to continue to expand the use of lightweight, infinitely recyclable aluminum to achieve a more circular economy."

~ Steve Fisher, President and CEO, Novelis, Inc.

“It´s time for governments to lay the legal framework for effective collection and real recycling. The focus should be on quantity collected with the highest quality to easily enable circular systems – packaging with many lives – reusable and recyclable. The cumulative benefits from circular systems, like deposit return, mean less litter and carbon emissions; more valuable resources for local recyclers which means more jobs; and giving producers the opportunity to include large amounts of recycled content in their new packaging."

~ Clarissa Morawski, Chief Executive, Reloop

“Today with our own 4.0 technologies, BeyondAlea®, our aluminum recycling furnaces are already able to obtain high metal yields with minimum energy in fully automated plants. As a leading designer and manufacturer of aluminum recycling technologies, we welcome Ball’s circular ambitions and we are ready to support the industry towards the circularity transition towards 2030."

~ José Domingo Berasategui, Managing Director, GHI

“TOMRA’s technologies help drive deposit returns systems by making beverage container redemption easy for consumers, while reducing costs in a shared-mission to achieve more than 90% collection and superior material quality that enables used containers to be turned into new containers over and over again. With the right recycling policies, it is possible to achieve these high levels of circularity. We are pleased to work with Ball and partners across the industry toward greater sustainability in beverage packaging, now and in the future."

~ Chuck Riegle, Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs & DRS Compliance, TOMRA Systems ASA

Beverage Can Recycling Rates Around the World


50 States of Recycling

A Ranking of US States Based on Recycling Performance; Finds Data, Policy and Infrastructure Investment Critical to Improve Recycling Rates.

First-of-its-kind analysis provides a benchmark to inform state-by-state policy and investment decisions, while nationwide polling shows strong support for measures to improve recycling rates and advance circular economy.

eunomia the 50 states of recycling


A State-by-State Assessment of Containers and Packaging Recycling Rates.
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Comparable assessment of recycling rates for common containers and packaging materials (CCPM).
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map of united state


Good data is the foundation of smart policies that will grow our economy and protect the environment.
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Boosting Recycling Rates

We’ve set a target of reaching 90% global recycling by 2030.

In order to achieve it, we need to dramatically boost U.S. recycling rates. Good data is the foundation of smart policies that will grow our economy and reduce packaging pollution that threatens the planet.
That’s why Ball Corporation commissioned Eunomia to produce the first state-by-state comparable assessment of recycling rates for common containers and packaging materials (CCPM) in the U.S. We invite you to see how your state measures up in “The 50 States of Recycling.”

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Key Takeaways: As state and federal lawmakers consider recycling legislation and infrastructure investment, it's important to understand what's working - and what's not - when it comes to recycling in our country. With good data, smart policies and infrastructure investment, the U.S. can be a leader in the global circular economy.


  • Not all recycling is created equal, and we should prioritize recycling of materials that have the greatest potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the highest value for creating new products.
  • Collection and recycling are not synonymous, as the quantity of material collected for recycling today is often far greater than what is actually processed and recycled into new products with non-recyclable contaminants making the entire system less effective.
  • Overall, the states that have more comprehensive and current recycling data along with a state-driven reporting system achieve higher recycling rates, demonstrating the importance of accurate measurement in moving the U.S. towards a more circular economy.
  • Americans support stronger recycling policies and investment in recycling infrastructure.

 “America’s recycling system is broken, but the good news is Americans overwhelmingly support some of the most effective solutions to reform it. If we are willing to recapitalize our antiquated recycling system by taking a fresh look at the way we create incentives, invest in adequate infrastructure and change behaviors to drive real recycling, we can lead the country toward a more circular and sustainable future."

~ John A. Hayes, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Life Cycle Analysis

Real Circularity means thinking beyond the traditional cradle-to-grave model. Transparent measurement and active accounting of the real environmental impact of our waste are crucial to making more informed decisions about packaging. The tools we use to measure sustainability must consider circularity, recycling, and the lifespan of pollution. Ball is taking an important first step in that direction with the release of our new comparative life-cycle assessment (LCA). 

A New Kind of Measurement

Developed by Sphera, a global provider of software and services on environment, health, safety & sustainability, operational risk management & product stewardship, as well as an expert third-party critical review panel, our new comparative LCA challenges the traditional ways sustainability has been measured in the beverage packaging industry.

Sphera's methodology compares real recycling data for four of the most popular beverage packaging materials – aluminum, plastic (PET), glass and cartons – across three key geographies: the U.S., Europe and Brazil. 


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